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overhead view of cut out sugar cookies decorated for Christmas on a marble surface with a spiral of red velvet ribbon

Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Allison Ferraro
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8-10 minutes per tray
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (Includes 30 minutes for decorating cookies. Does not include time for cookies to cool before decorating.)
  • Yield: about 24 cookies (using a 3 to 4 inch cookie cutter) 1x


This no chill, no spread cut out sugar cookie recipe makes soft and deliciously buttery sugar cookies that hold their shape when baked, so they're perfect for decorating.



for the sugar cookie dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 12 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

for the simple vanilla icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Make the sugar cookie dough. Place the flour, both sugars, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a food processor and process just until mixed.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and distribute over the flour mixture. Process until the dough resembles coarse meal, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir the egg and vanilla together in a cup. With the processor running on low speed, pour the egg mixture through the feed tube and process until the dough comes together, about 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. Remove the dough from the processor, place it on a clean surface, and knead it for several seconds, until no dry bits remain and the dough is cohesive throughout.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies using any cookie cutter shapes you like (you'll get about 24 cookies if using 3 to 4 inch cookie cutters). Transfer the cookie cutouts to the prepared baking sheets using a spatula.
  8. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. You'll know the cookies are finished baking when they're no longer shiny and become lightly golden. Let cookies cool completely on the baking sheet atop a wire rack.
  9. Make the simple vanilla icing. Whisk the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is smooth. The mixture should slowly drip, but not run, when poured from a spoon. If the mixture is too runny, add a little bit more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more milk.
  10. When the cookies have cooled completely, decorate the cookies. Spoon the icing into a piping bag or a plastic squeeze bottle and pipe the icing onto the cookies.


Storage: Store sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Be careful when stacking decorated cookies; the icing is firm but not rock-solid and may become slightly squished when cookies are stacked. These cookies also freeze well and can be frozen, stored in an airtight container, for up to 3 months.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: sugar cookies, cut out, soft, from scratch, no chill, no spread, hold their shape, easy